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Work underway on RPG replacement

Pronex Engineering Management Consultants of Wingate Park, Pretoria, has been awarded a further contract to provide Level 5 system engineering, logistics engineering and configuration data management support services during the acquisition of a man portable anti-armour missile system forte South African Army.

The Armscor Bulletin System says the work, worth R542 441.21, and awarded Thursday, was an extension of contract ETMG/2006/344. A similar workshare, worth R1 399 275,00 was awarded in February.

The Army has a stated requirement for a new generation portable infantry antitank rocket launcher for Zone 1 antitank defence. The Army currently uses the Russian-designed RPG-7 (pictured), a 40mm recoilless rocket launcher first delivered to the Soviet Army in 1961 and deployed at the section level. The weapon weighs 8.5kg loaded and fires a 2.25kg projectile (1.75kg warhead) to an effective range of between 300m (moving target) and 500m (stationary target). The high-explosive antitank round can penetrate 320mm of rolled homogenous armour. The warhead self-destructs after 900m.

The Army formerly used the Denel FT-5, billed as a highly effective, man-portable, recoilless shoulder launched anti-armour and bunker-busting weapon. This, in turn, replaced the French LRAC-89. Production of the 100mm FT-5 commenced in 1988 and delivery in May 1989. In 2007 the system was placed in reserve as its ammunition was both expensive and time expired. The system fired a 5.8kg round to about 400m. Loaded, the FT-5 weighed 11kg.

It is not clear what will replace or augment the RPG-7. Bazalt, the company that now manufactures the weapon, has exhibited a range of RPG-7 successors at the last several African Aerospace & Defence exhibitions as well as a range of alternative warheads. SAAB, of Sweden, has since 2006 displayed the Carl-Gustaf M3 84 mm anti-tank weapon system as well as the disposable AT-4 and NLAW rocket launchers.


Level 5 system engineering, Logistics engineering and configuration data management support services during the acquisition of a MAN portable anti-armour missile system - extension of ETMG/2006/344
TMG/S2010/1193 4 Nov 2010 R542 441,21
TMG/S2009/1105 4 Feb 2010 R1 399 275,00

Other recent work allocated Pronex includes:

Staff support services during the Definition Phase of the integrated soldier system
ESDS/2010/38 22 Sep 2010 R1 040 400,00

Project study for the Acquisition of Protection systems for the South African Air Force Bases
EPMS/2008/329 8 Apr 2009 R255 000,00

System engineering staff support
ESCW/2008/173 20 Nov 2008 R636 075,00

Functional study for the replacement of the multiple rocket launcher capability of the SA Army
EAES/2008/270 6 Nov 2008 R350 877,00

Engineering support for the new Generation Infantry Combat Vehicle
EIVS/2007/636 26 Jun 2008 R4 621 980,00

Acquisition study for the new mobile and tactical power generation system for the SANDF
EMSS/2007/589 25 Mar 2008 R1 991 400,00

Project study power generating system - extension of EGSS/2005/661
MSS/S2007/0856 26 Jul 2007 R218 308,64

Staff support for the system study - extension of EGSS/2005/646
SDS/S2006/1606 12 Apr 2007 R344 080,00


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